Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black (A Review)

Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black
Centeries of war with aliens threaten the future of human civilization on earth in this gripping, epic science fiction debut...
We never saw them coming.
Entire cities disappeared in the blink of an eye, leaving nothing but dust and rubble.
When an alien race came to make Earth theirs, they brought with them a weapon we had no way to fight, a universe-altering force known as thelemity. It seemed nothing could stop it--until we discovered we could wield the power too.
Five hundred years later, the Earth is locked in a grinding war of attrition. The talented few capable of bending thelimity to their will are trained in elite military academies, destined for the front lines. Those who refused to support the war have been exiled to the wilds of a ruined Earth.
But the enemy's tactics are changing, and Earth's defenders are about to discover this centuries-old war has only just begun. As a terrible new onslaught looms, heroes will rise from unlikely quarters, and fight back.
I must start off by saying that I was really surprised how long it took me to read this book. I usually get through books pretty quickly, but this one took me 5 or 6 nights instead of my normal 2 or 3. It was a little slow, but not boring, slow. There is just a whole lot of world building, but this definitely adds to the story.

So, by day 5, I was ready to finish it up, but I wasn't upset that I still had another few chapters to read on day 6. It was a really good book.

The author does a great job of weaving a few very different POVs in throughout the book. This is what makes it a little slow. Each character has a completely different life at the beginning, some in completely different settings (and almost different worlds). So, when I say there is a lot of world-building, it's not necessarily just one world. He did a great job of making it not boring, though.

I saw a couple of reviews that said this book was too slow and featured too many characters and POVs. I don't think so, though. I think the author just wanted to make sure all the world and all its characters were well-established. I think the fact that he did this in Ninth City Burning will definitely contribute to the next book. Even though it might have made this book longer, it will make it a lot easier to jump into the next book, since we already know everything we need to know about Ninth City and its characters.

Looking forward to seeing what happens next with Torro, Naomi, Jax, Rae, Venn, Kez and everybody else! I'll definitely read the sequel!

I received this book from the publishers, via First to Read, in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Thieving Weasels by Billy Taylor (A Review)

Thieving Weasels
Skip O'Rourke is dragged into one last con... but he doesn't know the con's on him in this funny, page-turning debut YA for fans of Winger and Ocean's Eleven.
Cameron Smith attends an elite boarding school and has just been accepted to Princeton University, alongside his beautiful girlfriend, Claire. Life for Cameron would be perfect, except that Cameron Smith is actually Skip O'Rourke, and Skip O'Rourke ran away from his grifter family four years ago.... along with $100,000 of their "earnings" (because starting a new life is not cheap). But when his uncle Wonderful tracks him down, Skip's given an ultimatum: come back to the family for one last con, or say good-bye to life as Cameron.
"One last con" is easier said than done when Skip's family is just as merciless (and just as manipulative) as they've always been, and everyone around him is lying. Skip may have given up on crime, but there's one lesson he hasn't forgotten: always know your mark. And if you don't know who your mark is... it's probably you.
Witty and irresistibly readable, this standout debut will always keep you guessing. 
This was a great, quick, easy fun read! It was nice to read something different than what I usually read. I've n

It's fiction but reads like a memoir of an extremely dysfunctional family of thieves. It's got a great blend of suspense and humor that makes it a very enjoyable read, and the twists and turns keep happening until the very end. 

I recommend this book to pretty much anyone, regardless of what genre you usually read. It's not something that I would usually pick up, but how much I liked it didn't surprise me in the least. It was just an all-around good book. So, if you want something funny and light to read, try it out.

I received this book from the publishers, via First to Read, in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Kanye West Owes Me $300: & Other True Stories from a White Rapper who Almost Made it Big by Jensen Karp (A Review)

Kanye West Owes Me $300: & Other True Stories from a White Rapper Who Almost Made It Big

After Vanilla Ice, but before Eminem, there was "Hot Karl," the Jewish kid from the L.A. suburbs who became a rap battling legend--and then almost became a star.
When 12-year old Jensen Karp got his first taste of rapping for crowds at his friend's bar mitzvah in 1991, little did he know that he was taking his first step on a crazy journey--one that would end with a failed million-dollar recording and publishing deal with Interscope Records when he was only 19. Now, in Kanye West Owes me $300, Karp finally tells the true story of his wild ride as "Hot Karl," the most famous white rapper you've never heard of.
On his way to (almost) celebrity, Jensen shared his childhood run-ins with rock-listening, southern California classmates, who tell him that "rap is for black people," and then recounts his record-breaking rap battling streak on popular radio contest, "The Roll Call"--a run that caught the eye of a music industry hungry for new rap voices in the early '00s.
He also introduces his rap partner, Rickye, who constitutes the second half of their group, XTra Large; his supportive mom, who performs with him onstage; and the soon-to-be-household-name artists he records with, including Kanye West, Redman, Fabolous, Mya, and
Finally, he reveals why his album never saw the light of day (two words: Slim Shady), the downward spiral he suffered after, and what he found instead of rap glory. 
Full of rollicking stories from his close brush with fame, Karps's hilarious memoir is the ultimate fish-out-of-water story about a guy who follows an unlikely passion--trying to crack the rap game--despite what everyone else says. It's 30 Rock for the rap set; 8 Mile for the suburbs; and quite the journey for a white kid from the valley.
I’ll  admit it, I wanted to read this book for the title alone…. And I expected it to be funny.
The book was not quite what I expected, but it was as enjoyable as I wanted it to be.

It is the story of another white rapper, who was coming up at the same time as Eminem. Although he made quite a bit of money, nothing ever came of his Big Break, because he was railroaded by Eminem (or Eminem’s people, as is specified several times in the book). I guess they didn’t want to place the blame too heavily on Eminem.

The fact seems to be true today of female rappers. There can only be one at the top, as you can see from the shade Nikki Minaj threw at Iggy Izalia at some award show. As was back in the day of Eminem’s rise to fame….

Who knows, perhaps the guys at the top thought it would be too much for us to handle: TWO white rappers.

This is the reason I never heard of Hot Karl, until I read this book, that is. I have to admit, it was kind of strange reading his lyrics, instead of hearing them actually set to music (especially hearing the lyrics in my head with my not-so-rapper-ish voice and no beat). He is pretty funny though.

Very enjoyable, Hot Karl!

Don’t feel too bad for him, not making it big in the rap game, though. He did pretty damn well for himself and owns a crazy popular pop culture art gallery, and does about a million other things that he’s successful at in Hollywood… as Hot Karl (or Jensen, as he goes by now), said recently, ALMOST equivalent to the club promoter of Hollywood… but not quite. (yes, I’ll also admit that I Googled Hot Karl after finishing the book and watched a few minutes of a podcast he was a guest on, promoting the book.

That’s gotta tell you that it was good. It doesn’t matter if you like rap or not, it’s a pretty funny book, 

I would recommend it to anyone, as long as they have a little knowledge of early 2000 music, otherwise, you won’t get a lot of the references.